The Asian World- Ch. 8 project

Katie Archey

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The Mongols

Government

Economy

For Genghis Khan, the priority in economics was animal husbandry, the way of life for steppe nomads. In the teachings, he emphasized the balance between livestock and pasture.

Genghis Khan paid lots of attention to trade with neighboring states. Altan State was the main gateway to expand trade relationships with foreign countries. Trade between Mongolia and China was limited only by a border. Genghis Khan was interested in establishing trade and economical relationship with merchants. He protected the Silk Road route, fought against robbers and their gangs and established camps for merchants.

Significant Leaders

Genghis Khan- strong ruler- at a massive meeting somewhere in the Gobi. From then on, he devoted himself to conquest. The military tactics of the Mongols were devastatingly effective. After his death in 1227, the empire began to change. The once-united empire of Genghis Khan was split into several separate territories called khanates, each under the rule of one of his sons.


In 1279 one of Genghis Khan's grandsons, Kublai Khan completed the conquest of the Song and established a new Chinese dynasty, the Yuan. Kublai Khan ruled until his death in 1294, established his capital at Khanbalik- the city of Khan. Today the city of Khan is known as Beijing.

Culture

Much of the Mongol culture was integrated with local customs, and the descendants of the empire adopted Islam.

The Mongols were into poetry. Li Bo and Du Fo were two of the most popular poets during the Tang era. "Quiet Night Thoughts" has been memorized by schoolchildren for centuries.

During the Song and Mongol dynasties, landscape painting reached its high point. Influenced by Daoism, artists went into the mountains to fin the Dao, or Way, in nature.

Significant Accomplishments

  • Genghis Khan produced a highly efficient army with remarkable discipline, organization, toughness, dedication, loyalty and military intelligence. The Mongol armies were one of the most feared forces in the history of battle.
  • The Mongols made a postal system called Yam, meaning checkpoint.
  • The Golden Horde, a large kingdom, that was established by Genghis Khan's grandson, Batu Khan, in 1251.

Interesting Facts/ Figures

  • History says that Mongol men were fearsome and mighty conquerors and the women were often ignored.
  • The women kept the economy going and held some of the highest positions.
  • Mongols were wanderers.
  • Mongols fought on horseback whenever they could.
  • The most common long-distance weapon was the composite bow, a small but sturdy weapon that had twice the range of the English longbow.

JAPAN

Government

Society was made up of clans.

The people were divided between a small aristocratic class known as the rulers and a large population of rice farmers, artisans, and household servants.

Economy

Early Japan was mostly a farming society. Its people took advantage of the limited amount of farmland and abundant rainfall to grow wet rice. Trade in Japan was slow to develop. Barter, rather than money, was used until the 12th century. Manufacturing began to develop during the Kamakura period. Markets appeared in the larger towns, and industries such as the making of paper and porcelain and iron casting emerged. Trade between regions also grew. Foreign trade, mainly with Korea and China, began during the 11th century. Japan shipped raw materials, paintings, swords, and other manufactured items in return for silk, porcelain, books, and copper coins.

Significant Leaders

A ruler of the Yamato clan achieved supremacy over the others and became, in effect, ruler of Japan.

Prince Shotoku Taishi, a Yamato prince, tried to unify the various clans so that the Japanese could more effectively resist an invasion by the chinese. He wanted a centralized government under a supreme ruler. His main purpose was to limit the powers of the aristocrats and enhance the Yamto ruler's (his own) authority.

Culture

During early Japan, aristocratic men believed that prose fiction was merely "vulgar gossip" and was thus beneath them. Women were the most productive writers of prose fiction in Japanese. From this tradition appeared one of the world's great novels, The Tale of Genji, written by court author Murasaki Shikibu. Her novel traced the life of nobleman Genji as he moves from his youthful adventures to a life of compassion in his later years.

In Japanese art and architecture, landscape serves as an important means of expression.

Significant Accomplishments

  • Buddhism reached Japan in the 6th century but it was not until the Nara period that it was able to gain solid acceptance.
  • Japanese historical literature was produced during the Nara period.
  • The Heian period is considered on of the high points in Japanese history.

Interesting Facts/Figures

  • Ancient warriors of Japan were known as Samurai.
  • In 500, Japan adopted the Chinese alphabet.

INDIA

Government

Governed by many different groups.

Was split into 70 different states that fought constantly.

The state of political disunity in India was one reason for Islam's success.

Economy

Between 500 and 1500, most Indians lived on the land and farmed their own tiny plots. These people usually paid a share of their harvest each year to a landlord, who in turn sent part of the payment to the local ruler. The landlord was basically a tax collector for the kink, who in theory owned all the land in his state. Rents paid by farmers funded the sumptuous lifestyle, the wars, and the grand temples of the rich and high born.

Internal trade within India probably declined during this period, primarily because of the fighting among the many states of India.

Significant Leaders

Mahmud of Ghazna: Succeeded the founder of the new state, Ghazna, because he was the son. Began to attack neighboring Hindu kingdoms to the southeast. Before he died in 1030, he was able to extend his rule throughout the upper Indus Valley and as far south as the Indian ocean.

Timur Lenk: Was the ruler of a Mongol state based in Samarqand, which is located to the north of the Pamirs. Timur Lenk seized power in 1396 and immediately launched a program of conquest. Timur Lenk placed the entire region east of the Caspian Sea under his authority and the occupied Mesopotamia. The death of Timur Lenk removed a major menace from the various states of the Indian subcontinent but this did not last long.

Culture

Between 500 and 1500 Indian artists and writers built on the achievements of their predecessors while making innovations in all fields of creative endeavor, both secular and religious.

During this period...

  • Religious architecture developed from caves to new, magnificent structures.
  • Indian architects built monumental Hindu temples from the 8th century on.
  • Each temple contained a central shrine surrounded by a tower, a hall for worshipers, an entryway, and a porch, all set in a rectangular courtyard.
  • The greatest example of Hindu temple art of this period are found at Khajuraho.
  • The use of prose in fiction was well established in India by the 6th and 7th centuries.
  • One of the greatest masters of Sanskirt prose was Dandin, a 7th century author. Dandin wrote The Adventures of the Ten Princes. In the story, Dandin relates the exploits of 10 princes as they search for love and power.
  • Dandin's powers of observation, details of everyday life, and humor gave his writing much vitality.

Significant Accomplishments

  • They built 80 temples in the 10th century and 20 of them still stand today.
  • The use of prose fiction was established in India by the 6th and 7th centuries.

Interesting Facts/ Figures

  • India was divided into about 70 states, which fought constantly.
  • Rajputs were Hindu warriors that lead a resistance against the advances of Mahmud and his successors into northern India.